Summary: a super rare, very early Lile Model 3 with fingered ivory handle. The included C.O.A. tells the story, this one was made way back in 1968. You’ll find some tarnish on the hardware and checks / cracks in the ivory, a couple of light insertion marks on the mirror finish if you turn the knife in direct light. “James B. Lile” script on the front, “INGERSOLL” in block letters on the back side. Marilyn rated the knife as “excellent” in the C.O.A. and I agree completely!
Note that way back in 1968 the script-signature was actually done by a local pawn shop employee, this knife was made before they even started engraving knives themselves in the shop.
The sheath is original to the knife and fits the knife perfectly. Stamped M3 on the back belt loop, snap works perfectly. Excellent condition considering age but certainly not perfect, you’ll find handling marks front and back and some verdigris darkness around around the keeper strap and snap.
9 photos for review – as shown, a new black canvas carry case is included. Early Lile hunters with the single line “James B. Lile” script are rare and hard to find for sale, none rank higher than this one with the hand carved fingered ivory handle. A knife you’ll love due to the character or hate because of the cracks in the ivory, it’s a given that the checks / cracks are inevitable with this handle material. Rest assured I’ve seen much worse, in the grand scheme of things these aren’t bad at all. 50 years old and never used... thanks and good luck.